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Cycling v running – which one is better?

July, 2021

If you are trying to get back into shape and boost your fitness, you will probably have considered either running or cycling – or maybe both!

So, which is better for you?

Like a lot of things fitness-related, there isn’t an easy answer for this. Let’s have a look at cycling and running and when each one might be better.

Running burns more calories

Running involves using more muscles, and it generally burns more calories than cycling over shorter distances.

If you are trying to lose some weight, creating a calorie deficit is essential, and running can play a big part.

This isn’t to say that cycling won’t burn any calories (it does), just that going for a run can burn off extra calories quicker. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds and ran for 10 minutes, you’ll burn off around 134 calories compared to around 66 calories if you cycle for the same time.

Cycling isn’t as hard on your joints

The big advantage cycling has over running is that it will cause less damage to your joints and muscles.

Even though running will burn more calories over a shorter distance, you will be able to cycle a lot further than you can run. The chances are you might even burn the same amount of calories or even more calories by cycling a much longer distance.

If you suffer from injuries easily or have long-term conditions that running might aggravate, cycling is probably the better option. Although, there are some things you can do which can help cut down on potential running injuries.

Both are good for cardiovascular health

There isn’t much between running and cycling when it comes to cardiovascular health because both are good for your heart.

They are both pretty rigorous forms of exercise that will help to contribute to your weekly workout. However, it is recommended to limit any vigorous running or cycling to 60 minutes per day as it can negatively impact your heart health if you do more than this amount.

Running is free, but cycling can cost a lot of money

Perhaps the most significant positive for running is that it is free (you just need a decent pair of running shoes).

Cycling can initially cost a lot of money. Good bikes can cost a lot, and you need to add in different accessories on top of this. You can buy a cheap bike, but it will likely require a lot of maintenance, and investing in a good bike can mean it will last for years.

Running v cycling – which is better?

The short answer is that it really depends.

Both running and cycling have their advantages and downsides.

Even though running is free, it’ll cause additional strain on your joints and muscles but you will burn off more calories in a shorter period of time.

Cycling is more expensive initially and doesn’t work as many muscle groups as running but it isn’t as hard on your joints. In fact, cycling over a long distance is incredibly rewarding.

If you aren’t sure what form of exercise you should take, get in touch and we can explore what type of training plan is right for you.

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